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Putnam Pay Study Shows Work To Be Done, Porter Said Consider Feelings

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Pay Study Shows Work To Be Done, Porter Said Consider Feelings

A new pay study shows Putnam County would need to invest millions of dollars to match salaries with similar cities and counties or the private sector.

“If you went through and gave raises to match these numbers, you’re talking millions, millions and millions of dollars,” Mayor Randy Porter told the County Budget Committee Thursday night.

An experienced county payroll accountant makes some $8,600 less than a privately-employed accountant. Among similar government accountants, the difference stood between $4,000 and $9.000. An IT System Analyst in Putnam County made almost $7,000 less than the same employee in a similar public unit. A truck driver made roughly $5,000 less than the driver in the private sector or in a similar government role.

An outside consultant gathered the information, both from private sector firms in the region, and roughly 40 cities and counties of similar makeup to Putnam County. Porter said population size was one of the measures used to pick those communities, but it was not the only one.

In some areas, the county showed double-digit deficits in salaries. A top-of-the-line building inspector employed by Putnam County made more than $11,000 less than a similar government worker.

A deputy sergeant’s starting salary was $16,000 less than that of a person employed by a similar city or county. A starting fire captain makes $28,000 less. Putnam County salaries did better at the top of the pay scale for both positions.

The study showed Putnam County paying considerably less for its directors in EMA, Parks and Recreation and Planning. The beginning salaries were between $10,000 and $30,000 below similar looking communities.

The county paid a beginning maintenance worker more than the similar government entities, one of just six positions outlined in the report where Putnam County exceeded the average starting pay. Putnam County paid significantly more than other cities and counties for a top-line EMT, between $5,000 and $6,000. A Putnam County fireman at the top of the scale made some $1,800 more than their counterparts in the studied governments.

Porter told the County Budget Committee to consider its next step carefully and the feelings of county employees carefully. He said past commissions have taken similar reports in the past, looked at them, and “threw them in the trash.”

“Decide where you want to go with this pay scale,” Porter said. “If you want to really look at it, we can share it with the elected officials and department heads and have them rework budgets. But don’t get the employees’ hopes up if you don’t think you can fund it.”

Porter said the committee and the commission as a whole, also needed to decide whether they were willing to give different raises to different people, in an attempt to even up salaries. Porter said historically, the commission has not wanted to do that, but give everyone something similar.

Porter did note that last year’s raise was a game changer for the county, helping to fill a lot of jobs across many departments. In addition to the study, the county budget committee is evaluating improvements to the step raise system already in place.


The post Putnam Pay Study Shows Work To Be Done, Porter Said Consider Feelings appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.